FINANCIAL

What You Need To Do In The Wake Of The Equifax Data Breach

By Gail MarksJarvis
Chicago Tribune

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Adam Levin, chairman and founder of the identity protection firm CyberScout and author of the book “Swiped” says that even if an individual’s accounts appear fine for now, thieves who obtain Social Security numbers could impersonate consumers any time in the coming years. However, there are things you can do to protect yourself now and down the road.

Chicago Tribune

The massive data breach reported by Equifax this week will leave millions of Americans at risk of identity theft for the rest of their lives.

The credit monitoring company said Thursday that the breach may have exposed the Social Security numbers, birthdays, addresses and phone numbers of 143 million consumers.

While Equifax has offered to give people a year of free credit monitoring, that falls far short of what most consumers need to protect themselves, said Adam Levin, chairman and founder of the identity protection firm CyberScout and author of the book “Swiped.”

“Your Social Security number is an eternal thing,” he said. Consumers have their Social Security numbers for life, they are virtually impossible to change, and they are the access point to each person’s identity. The Social Security numbers that children hold are also at risk.

Even if an individual’s accounts appear fine for now, thieves who obtain Social Security numbers could impersonate consumers any time in the coming years, Levin noted.

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